Bracelets by G. Evelyn Lampart
Sophie is wearing bracelets – I can hear them jangling. I can’t take my eyes off her face to look at them because she’ll think she isn’t interesting. That would break her stream of confidential I am special speak. She is talking non-stop again. About herself. Herself as a woman who is jealous of younger women, the 25-year-olds, with privilege, and with trust funds.
I understand. I tell her over and over that I understand. I have been telling her for years that I understand. But she doesn’t feel special enough. Her eyes are asking for confidence. Her mouth is telling me how many people she’s recently met who say she is special.
Sophie has been special for all of the forty years that I’ve known her — brave, unique, caring, and lovely. She was brave to leave the Brooklyn of our youth, and part from her friends and our familiar ways. I would like to see if she is wearing the bracelet I gave her when she first left for the Southwest — a country of sunsets that never fade, she boasted. I am afraid to take my eyes off her tulip-like face that is always in bloom and take a good look. I can hear several bracelets jostling each other. They are probably silver and copper bangles, maybe a multi-colored and delicately beaded one tied around her wrist with a leather string, and the heirloom with semi-precious stones. Without taking my eyes off her face, I finally say: “What about me?”
Sophie casts her eyes, strong and gripping, upon me, and says: “Tell me.”
I begin. I know I shouldn’t, but it’s like a game. I’m doing this… I’m doing that… all good stuff — writing, art, cooking, yoga. Sophie lifts a hand to her mouth in a gesture to silence me, and to tell me that she was always so jealous of me. And there it is on the plate of the gluten free pizza between us that we are sharing in a trendy mid-Village restaurant.
The bill will arrive, and I will offer to pay. It is my fault. For sharing. For having more. Sophie lowers her hand and they are all new bracelets that I’ve never seen before. One is thick and wide and embossed, handcrafted silver. Sophie’s eyes seek mine and see where, and how far, mine have traveled. She carefully removes all her bracelets, one by one. They don’t make any noise in coming off.
“Here,” Sophie says to me. “Don’t be jealous.” And she hands me the boldest bracelet of all.
Share your response to this work, in any form, here
G. Evelyn Lampart Artist Statement:
I was a clinical social worker in the field before retiring from my day job. I now lead an art
workshop in a mental health clinic once a week. I am a life long Brooklynite and I have
witnessed, and been a part of, its transformations over the years. My stories are published in
R.K.V.R.Y, Poetica, Nous, Dirty Chai, Rozlyn (an Anthology), The Quotable, Wild Flower Muse,
and Citron Review.